Monday, December 7, 2009

Angkor Apsara : An Indelible beauty of history


Angkor Apsara : An Indelible beauty of history


The moment I landed in Siem Reap , I felt this is the place I was searching for so many years. I loved the milieu. But I agree they don’t like Indians. Why?? Because Indians don’t take guides like the other people to visit Hindu temples. Cambodia is really in a deep shit. They have already declared national food emergency but still the 100 years old stony sculptures give you a feeling of great and prosperous history. In present these thousand years old temples are the bread and butter of the Government. Cambodian people are really good. Though not like Thailand or Bali but yes, they have their own charm.
The driver was waiting for me outside the airport. A gentle middle aged person, having a name board of mine, was waiting for me. This service is free from the guest house which I booked for 5 days. I know, you guys are thinking that five days have too many seconds to spend in that place, may be in some sense you are correct but it was hardly sufficient time for an amateur director, like me, to make a documentary on Angkor Wat . I took the videos of Angkor Wat and all other near by temples. Also I spent a day in Mekong Delta , digested great cockroach snacks and crocodile lunch.

But I am not in a mood to talk about all this boring stuffs. Every traveler is doing the same thing in Angkor for last 20-30 years. I explored Angkor through a different set of eyes. The eyes of a history lover but very soon “history” got replaced by my “virginity”.I know you are surprised. But It is fact. My hooded eyes relinquished myself in front of the 2500 topless Apsara sculptures. I am sorry Mr. Jayavarman VII, the king who built most of Angkor Wat. Please excuse me. Life and time has changed. I really envy you and your system which gave you the permission to have more than 3000 beautiful Apsaras in your palace. My mother is not that good .She will like kill me even she gets the fact that I am jealous with you. Indian mothers are like that only. Once I asked my mother “you got married when you were 19 .You enjoyed your life in the best time and think about me. Just because I am not interested to get married, does it mean I will be forbidden from everything?” She frowned and squinted at me through her high power glasses just like a strict school head mistress and murmured “I have got 3 girls photo. You have to finalize by today”. I hate dead lines.
 
For a bag packer like me Angkor was a cultural relief. The stony Apsaras became live in front of me and I started playing with those coquettish beauties. I asked them to give me a good back massage, to play some old love snuggle games and thousands of love stories of their time. Cambodians had a relationship with the present Thailand in those days also, sometimes like a friend & sometimes as an enemy. I found so many Thai Apsara dancers in the topmost gallery. They are different than the others, in look, in hair style and in posture. They are fairly plump comparing to the Cambodian ones. Hindu priests had a tough rule in Angkor Wat . Only senior most Brahmins got the opportunity to reach to the final gallery. Then how come the Thai girls got portrayed in such a prestigious place?? That’s why the Cambodian Apsaras don’t talk to those Thai ones. Once I was passing through a lonely corridor crammed with so many Apsaras , I saw one of them was trying to give a dancing shrug. I went to see her. A very old , wet smell was teasing my nose. She put her beautiful hand near my right ear and whispered “They behave well but they are the betrayers. They killed our king. Don’t talk to them ” . I smiled and waved “Madam, in this bloody earth hardly there is a country when people love and behave well with Indians. I am sorry for your king but they did not look bad to me. They are just like you.” She jostled with a polite anger. It was funny. Obviously she did not like me but I created my image.
Next day when I went to visit other temples, every where I heard the stones were whispering about me. Sometime it was irritating. But every time they ended their talk with a cute short laugh. I never heard such beautiful sounds in my life. I punished one of them differently. I went close to her just to take a photo, touched the face & the healthy breasts, scrunched the open navel. She was dying in shame. My hand was roaming casually over her soft skin. An Indelible beauty of history. She melted and that gave me the inaudible permission to travel further. I reached her back. I could not resist grasping her one globe in my hand and pulling her closer to me. She raised her leg , wrapping it around my hip . I can still feel the hit of her month, moist stony skin surrounding me.

I liked the exploration, listening to her rapid breathing, the way her body shrugged responses without saying her anything. She panted as if she was fighting for a breathe. Fool camera !!! could not capture these moments. She breathed deep on my shoulder and again became stone. I could hear the desperate whisper among the neighbor stones while I was leaving. Then three days I visited all near by temples, searched the same face . I think the artists knew that after 1200 years one guy would come from India and fall in love with one of their wonderful creation. That’s the reason they made her unique. I could not find another such an immortally beautiful face.


Last day I took time to study Angkor. I took 500 photos and 2 hrs of video. Sun said good bye. I could not notice. Suddenly a bunch of black, young, chubby clouds came as a sudden death of sun light. My Camera gave up. Auto night vision started working. I stopped it to save the battery .I glanced on the sky . The old , scattered library ruins were looking dark . It was drizzling. I packed my all technical stuffs and took the stairs. The clouds were fast on the sky. The whole thousand Buddhas’ gallery became dark. I was walking slowly through the wet , old stony stairs. The only leaving beast was me in the world’s biggest Hindu temple. Suddenly somebody pulled my hand. I got scared and turned my head. It was a shock. Those three Thai Apsaras were standing in front of me with an incredibly innocent smile on their faces. Before I would react something, they rolled their eyes on me and whispered “you are the guy we have been searching for last 600 years. Follow us.” They disappeared in the darkness. I was not very much sure what I saw was real or not. They hypnotized me. I followed them and their giggle landed me in a long dark corridor. I was hardly able to see anything. Only some abated light . That’s also was too far. Bad things came my mind. They controlled my foot steps. I stopped. My heart started talking with my brain.



“No one lady, yes one lady is there.” I became mobile again. One step was just like a decade for me. I was becoming stone. I felt enumerable number of Apsaras watching me. The light was becoming brighter and brighter. I stuck after sometime. Her face became visible. That unique creation of old artists, that same girl I loved in the temple. She jumped on me and rested on my chest. I was feeling like I did not even have a shy bone in my body. My all Indian orthodox & hypocrisy emotions were brushed away. My manliness was burning off the excess energy. I kissed her chin. She smiled and murmured “Wait . I am coming”.

That’s it. I heard a sudden dark, loud voice and everything vanished.

“Whose there?? Temple is closed. What you are doing??? “

Police were shouting on me. They thought I was trying to steal the sculptures. Poor police did not even know what I stole from Angkor Wat .


Next day morning I took the first flight from Siem Reap to Jakarta, Indonesia. I was working there. All the historical loving drama was still dizzying my mind. I took a taxi from the airport and preparing to become the same old profession duck in next one hour. It was running heaving outside. While I was trying to shut the taxi window, I saw one very familiar, beautiful lady waiting in the bus stand anxiously. I asked the driver to stop. I already understood who she was. I went to her and asked “Are you ok. I know you Katrina (famous Bollywood Actress). You need any help.”

Her Engel deep eyes cried “I have a shooting here but I lost everything on the taxi. Even my passport. Can you please help me?”




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